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Watergate Memories

There have been a lot of Watergate comparisons lately, and I’m going to join in. One thing I haven’t seen noted, although I don’t see everything, is the fact that both Watergate and Russiagate are election related scandals, each driven by the desire to steal an election. The difference between them is that Watergate was stupid, in the sense that Nixon was fated to win the election whether his two bit burglary was successful or not, whereas it now appears that the Russians may indeed have swung the election to Trump. That’s a conclusion that I had resisted in the past, but the fact is that the Russians quite skillfully distributed fake news in exactly the places where it would do Trump the most good. I’ve read speculation, which makes sense, that the Trump folks were assisting the Russians in this endeavor, for it would take someone with insight into the American electorate to figure out where the effort should be made and what type of propaganda to feed. So, give the Trumpies credit for the fact that they committed their crime for a good reason; had they not done so, Hillary would be president today. On the other hand, the crime itself is far more serious, and their attempts to get away with it are ham handed, to say the least.

The timeline says that Trump knew about Junior’s meeting before it happened. He promised a blockbuster Hillary exposing speech prior to the meeting, but when the day came for the speech he had nothing, since the Russians, for whatever reason, didn’t deliver the goods. Of course, the Trump people are denying that he knew anything about it:

Privately, Trump has expressed dismay that Trump Jr. agreed to meet with the Russian lawyer, according to a Republican source, who said the President believes it wasn’t a smart move – but also that his son did not run afoul of the law.

via Hullabaloo quoting CNN

I’m assuming digby isn’t buying in to that part of the story. The evidence appears to be too strong that Trump knew about the meeting (what did the pr- -ident know), and knew about it before it took place (and when did he know it). After all, the three top figures in his campaign were all there.

The real difference between Watergate and this is the likely outcome. I’ve written before about the fact that I knew in my gut that Nixon would be impeached once it became known that there were tapes. I could feel that way because, fundamentally, the system worked, and the Republican Party was not then as it is now. I was not alone in expecting that plenty of Republicans would bail on Nixon as the evidence mounted. I don’t see that happening now. I think they’d look the other way if he did, in fact, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue. If the Democrats took over both houses of Congress in 2018 the Republicans might dump Trump, but not until such an unlikely event occurs, and if they do, it will be purely as a matter of political strategy, and not because he is a traitorous criminal.

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